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US aid chief calls on Myanmar to end violence against Rohingya Muslims

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The US government’s aid chief has called on Myanmar to end violence against members of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim community in the northwestern state of Rakhine.

Mark Green, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), who is due to meet Myanmar government officials in the capital, Naypyitaw, said he would ask for “free and unhindered humanitarian access throughout the country” as well as access for media to travel freely.

Green made the remarks after he visited Rohingya refugee camps on a three-day visit to neighboring Bangladesh this week.

He told reporters in Dhaka before travelling to Myanmar that the US would provide $44 million in additional aid to help meet the needs of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

“Today, I will fly to Burma and will ask them to end the violence and will also ask them to allow media access,” Green said.

“This humanitarian crisis is a global challenge and our government along with the international community will work together to support Bangladesh,” he noted.

The United Nations Security Council earlier called on Myanmar’s government to hold accountable the perpetrators of widespread violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority country’s northwest over the past year and half.

Myanmar has come under intense criticism since its military launched a deadly crackdown against the Muslim minority in Rakhine in late 2016 in which thousands of the Muslims have been killed.

About 700,000 others have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since August last year, bringing with them horrifying accounts of massacres, gang rape, and arson by Myanmar’s military forces and Buddhist mobs.

The international medics who have examined the refugees have verified that their bodily injuries conform to the accounts of violence, including rape.

The UN has previously described the violence against the Rohingya as “ethnic cleansing” and possibly “genocide.”

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